With road trips top of mind these days, it also means that we will more than likely bring our pup along. Aside from packing their food, bowls and bed, what else should we do?

Most of us know that our pets should be properly secured in the vehicle. The Center for Pet Safety recommends we properly secure our dogs and cats in the back seat or cargo area (if you have a SUV, mini van, Jeep etc) of our vehicles. Not only for their safety but for ours. Sudden stops or crash can make unsecured pets dangerous projectiles. They also tell us that extension tethers or zipline style products can also increase the risk of injury to your pet and passengers. CentreForPetSafety.org has a list of approved crash-tested restraint systems.

Sure it’s cute to see Fluffy’s head pop out of the car window but not so cute if road debris accidentally gets into her eyes. That could result in a costly visit to the vet.

Of course, if you don’t drive and are looking for a car service like Paws en Route (an Uber-like transportation services for pets) to get you to your staycation spot, the guidelines also apply.

Before you head out, here’s a handy checklist from the CenterForPetSafety.org in partnership with Paws en Route if you’re planning to hit the roads any time of the year!

  • Make sure your pets are up-to-date with their vaccinations, flea, tick and heartworm treatments. (our note: if you have a tick remover tool, bring that too!)
  • Microchip your pets; it can help bring them back to you if they get lost but also worth having since pet theft is on the rise.
  • Bring along extra collars, leashes, toys as well as food and water bowls for your pets.
  • Bring your pet’s food, treats, medications.
  • Bring bottled water or bottled tap water from home.
  • Locate a veterinary medical provider near your travel destination.
  • Bring pictures of you with your pets.
  • First aid kits are essential in the case of an emergency.
  • Keep Canada beautiful, clean up after your pet and properly dispose of animal waste.
  • Obey leash laws.
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle at any time for any reason. Heat stroke can be deadly and happens in minutes.



*Photo by Kojirou Sasaki on Unsplash